• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How effective are M.P.'s at scrutinising the Government?

Extracts from this document...


POLITICS ESSAY How effective are M.P.'s at scrutinising the Government? The issue of whether or not M.P.'s are effective at scrutinising the Government is extremely controversial. Many would argue that that they are effective due to the six scrutinising mechanisms, debates, question time, and the opposition, standing committees, Select Committees and the liaison committee. However some critics would contend that M.P.'s are not as effective at scrutinising the Government as the majority of M.P.'s belong to the governing party. Thereby undermining their effectiveness at scrutinisers as they have a conflict of interest, as party loyalty is so strong. Executive dominance inhibits M.P.'s from effectively scrutinising the Government. Debates are one mechanism that M.P.'s use in order to scrutinise the Government. Debates are en effective means of scrutinising the Government as they force the Government to explain and justify its actions. They also allow parliament to express dissenting views and to challenge the Government. An example of a debate that thoroughly scrutinised the Government was in September 2002, over the war in Iraq, where M.P.'s got the chance to fully empress their views. Thus effectively scrutinising the Government. However parliament is not always effective at scrutinising the Government through debates as they rarely have an impact on Government, unless Government has a small party majority. ...read more.


These problems are the lack of resources, the limited research facilities, and the limited support services. Without the necessary backing form the government, the opposition are at a disadvantage and can only use what available in order to scrutinise the government. Consequently, M.P.'s cannot act effectively as a watchdog to government. Standing committees also give M.P.'s the chance to scrutinise and amend the government's Bills. However these standing committees are widely renowned for not carrying out this function due to excessive partisanship, limited information, limited expertise, limited time and limited amendment powers. All of these faults allow for the standing committees at be extensively ineffective at scrutinising the government. On the contrary another committee dedicated to scrutinising the government is the Select Committees. These committees scrutinise the expenditures, administration and policies of each government department. The M.P.'s in these committees have a specialised knowledge in one area; therefore their powers of criticism are stronger. Thus allowing them to scrutinise the government more effectively. Also they act as a means of deterrence. They prevent ministers from acting in a way that they could not justify in public. Thereby showing that M.P.'s in the Select Committees are effectively scrutinising the government. M.P.'s in the Select Committees can also examine and call for written evidence. ...read more.


Thus not allowing the government to dominate this panel. This panel enhances and extends parliaments ability to hold the Prime Minister to account, and effectively scrutinises the Prime Minister and his government. In July 2003 Blair was questioned on a number of issues ranging from pensions to transport, and in January 2003 he was probed extensively on the war in Iraq. Hence showing that the government are effectively being scrutinised by M.P.'s. To finish off, one can conclude that yes, M.P.'s do carry out the role of scrutiny successfully to a certain extent as beforehand we saw that through the six key scrutiny mechanisms, debates, question time, and the opposition, standing committees, Select Committees and the liaison committee the government is thoroughly checked up on by M.P.'s. However one must also point out that each of these mechanisms also had faults, such as lack of resources that M.P.'s need to scrutinise the government, and also the fact that government nearly always has party majority, which allows for party loyalty to take place and executive dominance. These all prevent the important process of scrutiny from taking place. Also government interference is also a huge problem in the scrutiny process, which shouldn't be happening as its them the M.P.'s are supposed to be scrutinising. The government act difficult towards these scrutiny mechanisms in order to prevent them from being scrutinised exhaustively, and in order to make themselves look good. Orl� Vallely 13H ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. What means are available to parliament and how effective is its scrutiny of the ...

    a heavy inbuilt parliamentary majority for the victorious party, it could be argued that the proportion of MP's a government has in the House of Commons over represents its actual support from the general public, and thus the powers of parliament to scrutinize government in such a scenario would be insufficient.

  2. J. S. Mill Despre Libertate

    De multe ori cutuma este pe nedrept asociata cu firea individula si "preferintele sau repulsiile societatii sau acelea ale unei parti importante ale sociatatii, sunt prin urmare principala pricina care a �nr�urit regulile impuse ca norme de comportament �n societate; si sunt sanctionate fie pe cale legala, fie prin repulsia st�rnita �n opinia publica �n cazul transgregarii lor."

  1. Assess the effectiveness of Parliaments Scrutiny of Government.

    There was a report, compiled by a commission headed by former Conservative Cabinet minister Lord Newton of Braintree. It argues that scrutiny of government is "neither systematic nor rigorous," and the performance of peers and MPs falls short of what is excepted.

  2. To what extent does ministerial responsibility ensure accountability to the government?

    This was apparent in AG v. Jonathan Cape Ltd, where courts refrained from granting injunction to Richard Crossman, an ex-minister who was publishing memoir of his political life ("Diaries", which revealed Cabinet disagreements in their memoirs).

  1. To what extent does executive dominance over parliament prevent M.P.'s from carrying out their ...

    In this way the executive dominate parliament so that they don't carry out their role of representing their constituency properly. On the other hand some critics would contend that M.P.'s to an extend can represent their constituency fairly in parliament in a number of ways.

  2. "Debates, Question Time, and Select Committees all give Parliament Teeth." Do you agree?

    Time and show up the Prime Minister, much like William Hague was able to do to Tony Blair. One area that Parliament does have some ability to carry out one of its main functions of scrutinising the Government effectively is with Select Committees.

  1. The position of the New Labour government with Tony Blair ahead of that government.

    in his "Social Insurance and Allied Services" report, were popular and worked, while it is in the nature of Conservatism not to make a radical change if the policy seems to be working. Moreover, reducing the power of trade unions and getting rid of those (Keynesian and Beveridge's)

  2. Whether or not Parliament is effective as a government watchdog

    The system of party government helps to ensure that parliament legislates with its responsibility to the electorate in mind. The main functions of Parliament are, to pass laws, to provide, by voting for taxation, the means of carrying out the work of the government, to scrutinize government policy and administration,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work